8 Simple Steps to Creating Happiness

Happiness
Happiness is very difficult to define because it totally depends on how we each experience the world around us. What makes me happy is not necessarily going to make you happy. However, it’s quite common to hear people say that its the little things that make them happy. These little things can also vary from person to person.
Most people I meet that say they aren’t happy are looking for a quick fix that makes them feel better in that moment. The challenging truth is that to feel better more often we need to be better. To be better we must be willing to change and develop our lives. One of the biggest factors I have found that influences happiness is the forming of positive habits.
So, the simple truth is that if you want lasting happiness you need to consider transforming your habits and daily rituals. This is not about making massive change. In fact, to feel happier we need only make small changes to boost our body, mind and life experience.  So, here are eight simple steps I use to be better and so create more happiness every day.
happiness -self awareness

Step #1 – What Floats Your Happiness Boat?

What makes us human is our ability to experience emotions and to think creatively. We also have the powerful ability to be self-aware.  For those of you that read my posts regularly, you will notice that self-awareness is a common theme. The first step to more that fleeting happiness is become more self-aware. Take some time out to reflect on what makes you happy. One of the most powerful happiness habits I ever formed was reflecting on my life and writing these in a journal. Self-awareness is the key to opening the door to your own happiness.

happiness - sleep habits

Step #2 – The Fountain of Youth?

Feeling healthy and well generally goes hand in hand with happiness. One of the simplest things we can do to maintain good health and well-being is to develop quality sleep habits.

Why such a full on title like fountain of youth? Well, that’s because our body repairs and rejuvenates itself when we sleep well. It allows our body and mind to stay healthy and reduce our rate of aging. Good quality sleep also makes life seem more energized and it becomes much easier to be joyful and happy more often. However, when we don’t sleep well, we tend to get tired and easily irritated with others. This often creates long term stress which can lead to stress related illness, add to our premature aging and leave feeling unhappy.

If you want some great ideas abut improving your sleep then here are few of my related posts-

Calm Down Before Sleep in 5 Simple Steps

Can’t Sleep- 5 Proven Tips for Great Sleep

Getting No Sleep – 6 Key Factors for Great Sleep

happiness -habits

Step #3 – Positive Habits & Rituals

As outlined in the previous step, forming good sleep habits can help us feel healthy and happy.  But sleep is just one habit that can impact our mood and therefore our happiness. That’s why forming positive habits and rituals is key to being happier every day. Go back to your reflection journal and look at what boosts your positive emotions.

The key to great morning rituals for happiness is to wake up our mind and body. Find a routine that helps you wake up your mind and body. For me it’s a ten minute meditate followed my some muscle stretches followed by a brisk  walk. Walking in nature is a powerful way to lifting the spirit and can become an exercise in mindfulness. As you walk, let go of your thoughts and become mindful of the sites, sounds, feeling and smell of nature. By doing this regularly we create positive habits and rituals that improve our body, mind and increase our happiness hormones.

So, even if you live in a busy city, find a green space or park for a short walk. By the time I’ve completed this simple routine my mind and body are fully awake and positive emotions are easy to access.

happiness -healthy diet

 Step #4 – Nourish Your Body

I meet people every day that believe they will find happiness by following the latest fad diet. Often, these extreme diets are not sustainable.  Generally, any feelings of happiness  and success soon fade which allows negative emotions and feelings continue.  Happiness for me comes from knowing that I am doing my best to nourish my body with a healthy and balanced diet full of fresh foods. So, learn  new eating habits that allow you to nourish your body rather than following fad diets. You may enjoy exploring my recent post Vital Elements for a Healthy Diet.

happiness - positive emotions

Step #5 – I Love Your Smile

Have you ever noticed that when you smile it’s impossible to feel unhappy.  The more we smile the more we tend to focus on positive events which create positive emotions. Smiling more also seems to attract more positive energy around you. We human beings tend to be hard wired to enjoy being around positive and happy people.

Of course we can’t go around with a silly smile on our face all day. But, by focusing our time and energy on things that make us feel more constructive emotions, the happier we will tend to be. So, the next time you find yourself focusing of negative things that you don’t want just stop. Then simple move your attention to what you do want.  It’s so easy to let out mind dwell on negative thoughts that steal our happiness away.  Rather than dwelling on what’s going wrong focus on what you do want.

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

Another great way to achieve this positive mental shift is to use your writing journal to list the things in your life for which you are grateful. Even though we may not be where we want to be, it’s always possible to find those little things we love and bring us joy. So, make your gratitude list and try to add to it each day. By adding to your list and reading it day we are forming a new habit of positive thinking. Combine this with setting powerful goals for the future and you can’t help but feel positive emotions and so experience more happiness each day. Then add the secret source of daily affirmations to your positive habits and you will become unstoppable.

Here are some related posts you may enjoy.

10 Inspirational Quotes on Life for Powerful Living

14 Daily Affirmations for a Great New Year

happiness -mindfulness

Step #6 – Happiness is Right Now

As you begin to become self-aware you will notice that the only time you ever feel happiness is right now.  As soon as we focus on perceived hurts from the past past, happiness seems to exit. When we allow fear of the future to flood our thoughts, happiness also exits.

This is where the power of mindfulness can be harnessed to boost of happiness. Mindfulness and meditation are the simple act training our mind to focus on now. By teaching our mind to become mindful, we can instantly remove the impact of negative thoughts about our past or worry about the future.

The most powerful gift you can give yourself is the ability to keep your focus in the now. At its core, the power of mindfulness and meditation comes from strengthening our mind to stay focused. The health benefits of meditation have been very widely researched and include reduced levels of stress and anxiety, higher levels of focus and concentration as well as improved brain function.

If you are interested in learning more about the incredible power of mindfulness and meditation, here are some of my related posts-

Learning How to Meditate Saved My LIfe

3 Simple MIndfulness Exercises

Understanding Mindfulness in Plain English

How to Do Meditation at Home

happiness -purpose

Step #7 – Meaning and Purpose

We are usually happiest when are minds are not dwelling on thoughts about the past or worry about the future. That’s why people who can get lost in work or tasks they love often feel happy more often. Finding activities that give us purpose and meaning make us feel good and also allow us to get lost in the moment.  From a psychological perspective this is all about the internal drive of all humans to reach our full potential.

As we grow by developing new talents, abilities and skills that give us meaning, we experience a feeling of fulfillment which is another dimension of happiness. It is probably the most sustainable because it is about us fulfilling our true potential and becoming a better version of ourselves. We can always find short term fixes which can create short term moments of happiness. These can be fleeting and leave us on an emotional roller coaster.

If you want to find sustained happiness look inwards and begin to explore and develop your talents around personal meaning and purpose. As we become better people, we also reach a state of sustained fulfillment and happiness that is less fragile.

happiness -relationships

Steps #8 – Relationships & Family

Even in the poorest nations of the world it’s easy to find people that seem to have very little and yet are happy.How can this be? It’s because we often equate happiness to what we have rather who we are and who we have around us.

We all have a fundamental need for connection with others. Love of family, friends and community is a powerful source of happiness. In our age of social media it’s so easy to opt for an online experience.  Unfortunately this does not fulfill the core human desire for face to face social connection. So, take any opportunity you can to build social connection with others.

This social connection plus the personal growth driven by meaning and purpose seem to be the two powerful sources of long term fulfillment and happiness than are truly sustainable.

Moving Forward

The key to creating happiness is to make little changes if you are not experiencing happiness. These don’t have to be big changes, but tiny steps over a long period. Start by getting a writing journal and start reflecting on you life and happiness. The more you explore, the more you find areas to grow and develop. Build positive habits around sleep, relaxation, mindfulness and meditation to boost your body and mind. As you take little actions to become a better person, you steadily unleash the powerful you. One of the attributes of true power is happiness and fulfillment.

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